Monday 5 January 2015

The Macallan Masters of Photography: Mario Testino Edition Hong Kong Launch (Tasted #148)

As we mentioned last month, The Macallan "Masters of Photography" Mario Testino Edition has been released in Hong Kong, retailing for $28,000HKD. We were lucky enough to attend the Hong Kong launch event for this whisky in December, which was a lavish event celebrating the photography of Mario Testino, and of course, The Macallan.

Held on a Friday night at the Hong Kong Maritime Museum, with views over Hong Kong Harbour, the event was attended by a number of people we've met so far in the Hong Kong whisky scene (including, sadly, the last HK whisky outing for local whisky expert Marlon of The Whisky Library, shortly before he left HK).

A selection of photos were placed around the room showcasing the photography of Mario Testino, and the whisky itself was presented by Coral Gill, Edrington Regional Brand Director (with whom we have an Interview coming up shortly). The Macallan's famous "six pillars" were discussed, namely:
  1. The Spirital Home
  2. "Curiously" small stills
  3. Finest cut (which we've referenced before on this blog)
  4. Exception Oak casks
  5. Natural Colour
  6. Peerless spirit

..and their relation to the Mario Testino Edition, which is a vatting of 6 casks, each representing one of the above "pillars".

In a slightly more upbeat / funky move when compared with a typical whisky launch, a number of models then paraded out onto the stage to showcase the various components (the aforementioned "6 pillars") making up the Mario Testino edition. The models' dress echoed those who formed the shoot itself, shot at the China Club in Beijing, to represent the luxury and diversity of The Macallan and its enjoyment around the world.

A fitting event for an impressive whisky (as all Edrington events seem to be), and we say that not just based on the launch party or the marketing, but on our own tasting of the whisky the day prior:

The Macallan Masters of Photography: Mario Testino Edition (46.6% ABV, NAS, Highlands, Scotland, $28,000HKD)
Colour: Deep dark copper

Nose: Definitely The Macallan DNA in there, but more sweet, more rounded than the 12 or 18. Some nutty, almond notes, and some definite citrus - grapefruit? Sweet, but complex.

Palate: Citrus "zing" at first, but then some nuttiness, more grapefruit, and finally rich Christmas cake. Something for everyone in here. A complex, but very easy drinking dram.

Finish: Long, incredibly smooth, with lingering raisins and Christmas cake notes.

Rating (on my very non-scientific scale): 94/100. A luscious dram that you could easily sip all night, but would feel far more appropriate saving for special occasions.

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